Meet our Citizens
A new feature in "The Citizen" is to spotlight one of our many contributors! This issue, Matt Innis, a member of our Constabulary is profiled.
Hey all, what an honor to get to be the first to 'expose' myself here on 'live wiki' with the Citizen. I am happy to say that, because I am a constable, I feel like I know each of you pretty well, since I have read most of your bios and even edited a few to clean out personal information :-) I suppose it's only fair that you should know who I am!
The Citizen: A short introduction, if you please :).
D. Matt Innis: I am your best friend and your worst nightmare. (laughs) I know it sounds like a tough line to take, but really that is me. Ask my kids, I am the best dad - amusement parks, beach trips and IPods, but you better tow your rope (get good grades), or face the consequences. So far, nobody has actually challenged me to face my consequences; Mom gets there long before I do (Thank goodness for mom! - if they ever went that far they'd find out I really don't have the heart to levy he consequences). But suffice it to say, I do have a temper, so even I don't know what happens if they crossed the line ;-)
TCZ: What are your hobbies? / What do you do for fun?
Matt: Well, I used to be an amateur photographer, you know, back in the day when film was film. I even had my own darkroom and enlarger when I was a teen, but once the schooling started, then the kids, the house and work - hobbies became hard to come by, unless you count CZ. I am really a jack of all trades, but I don't get paid for any of them. The kids are now teens and young adults, so needless to say, I have a garage that I work on my cars, a yard full of half finished projects (thanks to CZ), and an office full of computer parts. There is never enough time in a day. The good news is that I did learn a long time ago that the honey-do list is really just an opportunity to relax and do something with my hands. I stopped rushing to finish them for two reasons; first, why rush the fun part, and two, the sooner I finished, the faster the list grew!
TCZ: What do you professionally?
Matt: The hat that I wear during the day is that of a chiropractor. I spend most of my time nursing people out of their pain and back to work. Sometimes I even get one well ;-) It really is rewarding to help people for a living, especially working with good people.
TCZ: What is your favourite topic of discussion?
Matt: No doubt about it, History is my favorite subject for discussion, especially with my kids. I read all of Richard's articles and then spurt out all the details to my friends and family. So far I have been right every time. They have been picking up on Wikipedia and I have to set them straight, but you'll be glad to know that they are also learning good stuff in school that I am able to verify. Did you know that Eisenhower was the one that put "under God' in the US pledge of allegiance? Me neither! (Well, of course Richard knew that.)
TCZ: Does your profession relate to any of the contributions you have made?
Matt: Yes, almost all of my edits have been to the Chiropractic and related articles. In fact, that is why I was invited here in the first place as an author, from Wikipedia; to help get things started in the area of Healing arts. Those first few months of collaboration with Gareth Leng and Nancy Sculerati were really exhilarating. Day and night, we couldn't put it down, back and forth, give and take, and lots of scholarly interaction. You all know what I mean, there's nothing better than a good learning experience and better yet, an opportunity to write about what you do. I am looking forward to more healing arts editors joining the project, but I would also like see more science editors get some science articles approved so that our reputation in the hard sciences and healing arts (meant health sciences) is solid first.
TCZ: What is your role in Citizendium?
Matt: I think my most important role is just like everyone else's; to help others wherever I can. I started from scratch like most of us and had to teach myself, with lots of error! But that just made it easier for me to empathize with everyone when they first start to contribute. There is a learning curve for the software that even the most intelligent of professors have to conquer in order to convey their knowledge. My job is to help them get up to speed ASAP, so that they feel confident in saying what they need to say. Oh, yeah, I'm a constable, too ;-) And on the Editorial Council, but I see that as temporary until the healing arts field gets more qualified editors on board.
TCZ: How do you see yourself fitting into the overall structure of CZ?
Matt: Like I said before, my other job is a constable. Growing up with 5 siblings required that I develop some social skills. I chose the peacemaker. It seems to fit in well wherever I go, whether as scoutmaster of 20 boys or wiki collaborator, there is always a need to see the good in everyone. I think that no matter what my job duties, these are the characteristics that I always seem to fall back on. Hopefully, they will be useful here. When things take off, there will be less room for error and decisions will have to made quickly and efficiently in order to not lose good people. Hopefully, I will play an important role there.
TCZ: What motivates you to contribute?
Matt: Contributions can be defined in many ways. As far as editing, I am motivated by getting it right... but that requires that I know something about the subject, otherwise, I am a copyeditor. In this crowd, though, there isn't much need for that! There are other things to contribute to as well. I feel that it is just as important to be here to put those 'approval' templates on, review and approve those new accounts, and help professors learn the ropes. So I guess you can say that I want Larry's project to be successful, and anything I can do to help that along is what motivates me. I see the chaos that is slowly infiltrating our consciousness from blogs, TV, and WP. I dream of one day hearing a newscast citing Citzendium as the source. Then I know my kids and their kids will be okay. That motivates me, too.
TCZ: What is your best experience on the wiki so far? Your worst?
Matt: It's been awhile since either, but getting an article approved was certainly up there on each of those scales. I suppose that your best experience is directly proportional to the worst experience that you had to go through to get there.
TCZ: What do you look forward to the most?
Matt: I love to learn anything new! The older I get, the harder that is to do :-) Though my kids let me know how little I do know :-(
TCZ: What would you like to see happen in CZ's future?
Matt: I know that if CZ is to grow rapidly, we'll need more authors and editors working simultaneously on many many articles, which I think is going to happen relatively soon. If we could nail down the dispute resolution process (which I think we are well on our way to doing) to an efficient binding process that does not require too much time and resources we'll be okay. I think it we have to find a way to collaborate that does not allow for the process to become overwhelmed into the anarchy that predominates at other wikis.
TCZ: Do you have any specific goals for your involvement on the wiki?
Matt: I plan to continue to work in the background to keep things running so that others can write, write, write.
TCZ: What do you predict the future will be for wiki-based projects?
Matt: The addictive nature of collaboration tells me that wikis are the way of the future.... I predict that one day there will be a wiki war and perhaps even a wiki world war (WWW I)... A virtual catastrophe. Whoever has the better computer geeks will survive! Do we have any of those?? :-)
TCZ: Who will you vote for president and why?
Matt: Of the USA? I haven't missed a vote, yet... but I can tell you that I won't be voting for anyone that says that some country has weapons of mass destruction - even if they have pictures! My prediction is that it will be McCain vs. Obama... McCain wins, but it's going to be real close - again... Congress will go predominately democratic everywhere. (Any takers :-)
Thanks for the insight, Matt! Next issue will feature David E. Volk!